Dallas World Aquarium

During Spring Break, my family traveled to Dallas, Texas to visit my husband’s sister and her family. We enjoyed touring the city’s World Aquarium. My daughter’s “assignment” was to select one animal from the aquarium to bring home to Missouri. She had to choose an animal based on its ability to survive in our habitat, as opposed to one she liked. No, the animals aren’t available for checkout. I was just once again using her as a guinea pig while preparing for my first digital storytelling workshop. Another part of her inquiry lesson was to collect video footage and provide narration. Below is our first digital story. Click the big triangle play button to stream theĀ  video, or right-click on the Download link and choose “Save target as” or “Save link as” to download the video.

Download World Aquarium

The technicalities: Using Windows Movie Maker, we captured and cut the video. Then imported some images from our digital camera, and a few downloaded public domain images. After recording the narration, I added in some creative commons licensed music. The title and transition features polished off the project. Then I saved the project as “video for broadband (340 kbps)” in a Windows Media Video (wmv) format. I uploaded the wmv file to archive.org, where it was automatically converted into other formats and various file sizes (flash, mpeg4). I chose archive.org because it is free, and not blocked by our District’s filter. The flash version was the fastest to load, but too blocky for my daughter’s standards. The wmv file is the best quality, but a large file (better to download and not stream). It is the one I used for this blog post. But I’m guessing since this is a wmv file, it won’t play on all computers. Next we will publish a Voicethread version, and a then Photostory version. Please leave your recommendations, comments, or suggestions.